James Conner had toe surgery.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says Conner is dealing with “moderate” turf toe suffered in an off-field indecent this offseason, but that the former Steelers running back is expected to be 100% this June. Conner is currently visiting the Cardinals, and he’s reportedly getting a physical with them, so he could be set to find his new team soon.
Taylor Gabriel has retired from the NFL.
Despite going undrafted and coming from a small-school Abilene Christine (and being “small” himself for the NFL), Gabriel was able to put together a strong and productive seven-year career. Gabriel’s career ends with 228 receptions for 2,860 yards and 14 touchdowns in six seasons played, spending two years with the Browns, two with the Falcons, and two with the Bears. The former undrafted free agent was immediately a very capable deep threat upon entering the league, averaging 17.3 yards per reception as a rookie in 2014; and he was a big contributor to the 2016 Falcons team that went to the Super Bowl (and the year the offense was the league’s best and Matt Ryan won MVP). We wish Gabriel luck as he moves past his playing career.
Washington waived Thaddeus Moss.
Moss spent last season with Washington, basically as a player that was stashed on injured reserve. The former LSU tight end will look to land with another team and could benefit from what will hopefully be a more normal offseason than last year when he entered the league as an undrafted rookie.
The Eagles re-signed Jordan Howard.
There’s some thought and expectation that Philadelphia might use somewhat of a committee backfield under new head coach Nick Sirianni, so this could be a good spot for Howard to remain. The former Bears starter is still just 26 years old, and he can be highly effective between the tackles and at the goal line. Last season was Howard’s worst, as he didn’t have much of a role in Miami before getting released and landing back with the Eagles midseason.
The 49ers signed Nate Sudfeld.
After spending the past four seasons with the Eagles (and being a member of the Super Bowl LII championship team), Sudfeld is moving across the country to San Francisco. It’s a good spot landing with Kyle Shanahan, and the 27-year-old will look to continue developing as someone that’s held in high regard around the league as a backup option. Perhaps this gives a hint that Jimmy Garoppolo could be on the move despite strong denials from Niners brass, but we’ll see.
The Bengals have released Giovani Bernard.
Bernard was rumored as a potential trade candidate, but it’s no surprise that Cincinnati didn’t find a suitor considering the caliber of running backs still on the market. The former second-round pick finishes his Bengals career with 921 carries for 3,697 yards and 22 touchdowns while also contributing as a big-time weapon in the passing game with a 342/2,867/11 line as a receiver. Samaje Perine and others will climb up the depth chart, but this move opens up a potential monster workload for Joe Mixon in 2021. As for Bernard (who turns 30 in the fall), there is certainly a chance he finds a landing spot where he can still carry FLEX appeal, particularly in full PPR leagues.
The Panthers have traded for Sam Darnold.
New York will reportedly receive just a sixth-round pick this year, but a second-round pick and fourth-round pick in 2022—which is a decent haul considering the league believes the Jets are locked onto BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. While Darnold didn’t have a ton of success in a difficult spot to start his career, he’s undoubtedly shown flashes of the talent that made him a top-three pick in 2018, and Carolina is an excellent landing spot. This trade takes the Panthers out of the running for a quarterback later this month, and it’s notable that Darnold won’t turn 24 until the summer; his dynasty arrow is pointing straight up as the hopeful quarterback of the future for Matt Rhule.
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